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Tom Trnski

Head of Natural Sciences

When it comes to marine biology, Tom is world famous in New Zealand.  He grew up at the beach and spent his earliest summers exploring rock pools.  Once he learned how to snorkel, his interest in marine life knew no bounds.

As Head of Natural Sciences, Tom leads the development, documentation, research and public access of all the Museum’s natural science collections.  He has written books, published scientific papers and led many surveys of fishes throughout the Pacific.

“I first came to the Museum in 2007 for the role of marine curator. It was a great opportunity to explore the waters around northern New Zealand. I now manage the natural sciences team, but what keeps me passionate about my job is the occasional opportunity to continue to make discoveries of marine life in the region and to communicate the excitement that I feel about the marine environment.”

Favourite artefact: Grayling in a jar

“My favourite Auckland Museum specimen is a jar containing a grayling - New Zealand’s only extinct freshwater fish, last seen in the 1930s. It is a reminder of the changes that have occurred to the landscape and the tragedy of losing a species.”